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Muckdog
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Considering all the crunch-time home runs RHP Vladimir Nunez has allowed, it's hard to imagine manager Jeff Torborg continuing to turn to him in late-inning setup situations. Nunez gave up six home runs in his first 8 2/3 innings and had the staff's worst ERA.

Look for RHP Tim Spooneybarger to assume a bigger role in the bullpen. Although Spooneybarger had been on a roll, retiring 21 of the previous 22 batters he had faced, and was available for relief duty in a game last week against the Mets, Torborg curiously summoned Nunez. Nunez promptly served up a game-deciding three-run blast to pinch hitter Tony Clark. ...

RHP A.J. Burnett experienced control problems in his first three starts after coming off the DL (right elbow inflammation).

SCOUTING REPORT

3B Mike Lowell, a dead pull hitter whom pitchers have countered successfully in the past by pounding the outside part of the plate, is causing them to reconsider that tactic. He is hitting to the opposite field with far greater frequency and noticeable success.

SEE A DIFFERENT GAME

With the five-man rotation intact for the first time since last April, the relievers -- who suffered fatigue in 2002 from considerable use during an injury-filled season for the starters -- are settling into their roles. Not only has RHP Braden Looper finally established himself as the closer, but LHP Michael Tejera is proving to be a valuable long man after several opportunities as a starter.
 

DurableTear

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wow... it took Torborg this long to figure that out... what an idiot...
 

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